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All reviewsyoga retreatvisited elcosta ricaamazing chefhowler monkeysmorning and eveningnice amenitieshome away from homeother guestsbring earplugszip liningcome homedry seasonbeach towelshorseback ridinggrounds are beautifulkurt
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Reviewed August 30, 2017

I had an amazing, adventurous, and life changing experience at El Sabanero. I was warmly welcomed by owners Harold and Kurt from the moment I arrived. Hazel and Donald made the most delicious meals everyday and went out of their way to ensure all guests were well taken care of. They even accommodated me being a vegan. So very appreciated! Sabine and Hector were two of the most caring authentic yoga teachers I have ever met. Both such beautiful souls. I truly enjoyed their classes and talks. The most memorable experience for me was being surrounded by like-minded people in a supportive, relaxed, and loving environment. I didn't want to leave! I left with an open heart and new friends for life:)

  • Stayed: August 2017, traveled solo
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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3  Thank Shea L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 22, 2017

I felt very welcomed by yoga teacher and assitant manager Sabine in my first stay in Costa Rica. Donald is the most amazing chef and his dishes are exceptional, what talent! He will accomodate any dietary restrictions and is very helpful, just ask. Hector is an amazing yoga instructor, he and his lovely wife also helped me to learn the bus and taxi system and taught me about the Costa Rican currency, and how not to get ripped off. Thank you Sabine and Hector, my time spent with you was sacred and I learned what I needed to, and I am returning back to my vocation stronger. Thank you Donald and Harold and staff, El Sabenero is a welcoming place, to visitors and animals alike! Loved having coffee with the howler monkeys one blessed morning. Namaste and All of God's Love, Liz

  • Stayed: August 2017, traveled solo
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Thank Liz M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 4, 2017

The entire staff, and facility at El Sabanero was amazing. We were a small group of girls from all over the US and loved our stay there. Harold was so kind to pick us up from the airport. Donald and Hazel have the MOST AMAZING cooking skills ever. I enjoyed and looked forward to every single meal. Sabine and Hector are both skilled, and amazing in their yoga teachings.. they ask you to challenge yourself and push yourself beyond your comfort zone. Coyo kept us all safe at night!! The entire place was a tropical getaway that was very much needed - from the amazing staff, to the monkeys howling through your yoga practices :) an amazing overall. THANK YOU!!!

  • Stayed: June 2017, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Noor Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 28, 2017

This was our second yoga retreat. I was not a happy with my first yoga retreat experience so this was a make-or-break kind of situation as to whether I'd ever try one again. I'm ready to book another in six months because I loved every minute of this experience. The setting is gorgeous. The staff is incredibly warm and welcoming. And I will probably dream about the food for years to come. Oh, and the yoga was a wonderful blend of challenging and restorative. The teachers were so gifted they were able to personalize the experience for each of us in the class.

  • Stayed: July 2017, traveled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Adriane G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 15, 2017

I was very much pleased with everything this retreat had to offer. The food was amazing, the service and the care that Harold, Donald, Hazel, Sabine and Hector put into ensuring the guests have an amazing experience is impeccable. The cabana was great, the stillness, quiet, nature, was exactly what I had wanted. The wifi was spotty at times, but I also came here to unplug and be in nature so it wasn't an issue.

Hector Moreno and Sabine Wienerroither were my two yoga teachers at the El Sabanero Eco Lodge this past week.

Hector has an authentic, intuitive, honest, heart-based, teaching style that is rooted in the traditional yoga teachings and is dominated by themes of returning to basics, strength, persistence and gentleness at the same time. I appreciated that Hector calls out asana in Sanskrit, but he does this in an intuitive way - he knows when it is appropriate and when it is better to call an ‘adho mukha śvānāsana’ a ‘downward dog’. He is intuitive with the needs of his students and can accommodate anything between a beginner to a student with an advanced practice. The very first private class Hector taught me - he taught an Ashtanga class, and this is what makes me say that he is very intuitive with his students - I never told him that all I have been practicing for the past 6 months at least was ashtanga and that it was my favourite practice right now. He is equally effective teaching a strong intense ashtanga class as he is leading a restorative practice and he is again intuitive with what is appropriate when based on the student he is leading through the practice.

Hector is able to see limitations in the physical bodies and in the mind-activity of his students and offer asana that responds to where the body is in that moment. Hector also sees the potential in his students and is going to push you into new territory where you have never been before - asana-wise and mentally. I got into asanas that I have never tried before or was too scared to even think of trying because I didn’t think I had the strength and the skill to activate what I needed to activate. With Hector’s encouragement I went up into a new asana like I had done it a million times.

I learned a lot from Hector in class, but I think the most important thing he taught me was off the mat: the gentleness of being. Hector taught me presence, gentleness, and kindness that he shows towards all beings.

Hector is great at encouraging you to find the edges and the limits of your possibilities in the ‘now’ and encourages you to see if going beyond those limitations is possible. He does this in a safe, kind, intuitive way. He encourages the asana to not be too comfortable and moves you into the edge of your comfort. At the same time he knows when you are rushing into the next asana without mastering the previous steps and will gently guide you back.

Hector continuously reminded me to master step 1 before jumping into step 2 headfirst mindlessly. A gentle, kind reminder I need from time to time, when my unconscious type-A patterns take over.

Hector encourages meditation, proper drishti, pranayama and bandha activation during the asana practice. He discourages useless movement during practice and encourages mindfulness.

Hector also offered some of the best hand on assists - in the full wheel, in the handstand and in the double-pincha that I did together with Sabine, his assists were life-changing. This sounds like an exaggeration - but it’s not - I have never done a handstand by myself but with a tiny assist from Hector it made all the difference. He is full of these little gems.

Sabine

A huge part of yoga philosophy, to me, at his point in my journey, is the self-study, and frequently, it is even more important than the asana practice. Sabine was the embodiment of that aspect of yoga for me. Sabine is on her own path of self-study and examination of who we are, why we are … and it is impossible to be in a state of unconsciousness around her. With one gentle word she can bring you back into stillness and self-awareness; and to encourage your own path of self-study.

Sabine reminded me that the Universe is continuously communicating with us. She has a wealth of knowledge of the natural world. She has a gentle, loving spirit. When I met her - there was a feeling of subtle recognition and perhaps that's why I felt a genuine, authentic connection to her.

In a world that is approaching consciousness and unconsciousness equally fast - Sabine is the beautiful example of the former. Her thirst for self-discovery, self-knowledge and self-awareness is really inspiring and probably one of the reasons I connected with Sabine so well.

Sabine’s asana practice is a gentle classically-India-trained hatha flow and she is also very intuitive with the students’ needs and offers gentle hand-on assists that deepen your experience of the asana. Sabine has an amazing ability to guide the class into a meditative state and maintain that state throughout the class.

Rather than jump into judgement (which is one of my patterns) - Sabine’s approach is to say “oh wow, how interesting” - and in that, she has been my greatest teacher: to see the possibility of a new perspective rather than seeing differences. And to me - that is the most important “yoga” - a way to live my life in a state of non-judgement of myself and the world outside of me.

  • Stayed: July 2017, traveled solo
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
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4  Thank Yana B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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